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6 Tips for Writing Ad Copy that Converts

by Kim Jaso

Writing is generally not an easy task, but gets more challenging when you’re a marketer trying to grab the attention of prospects with just 270 characters to work with. Writing ad copy for search campaigns means you’ve got to craft compelling, yet authentic—yet brief!—copy that gets your message across and also inspires action. Fortunately, you don’t need a master’s degree in writing to master the art of writing ad copy that converts. Spice up your search results—and engage more leads—using our following tips.

#1: Focus on Your Customer’s Objective — Not Your Own

As marketers, we’re really comfortable with talking about what makes our product unique or how great our offering is compared to others in the market. But if you want to craft a message that will truly resonate with your target audience, you need to focus on what their objectives are, not just what you think makes your product sound good.

Take this example from Saatva. They’re focused not on talking about their mattress company, but specifically on what problems they can solve for their customers (in this case, back pain). Grab the reader’s attention by showing that you’re the business that is focused on fixing their specific problem—then you can win them over later on your marketing site with all your cool features and other stuff you have to offer.

Another more timely consideration for brick-and-mortar businesses? COVID-19 protocols. Make it easier for your customer to know what to expect from your business right up front in your ad copy, like this ad from Equinox which directly mentions its health and safety protocols, something that’s top of mind for a lot of people as they consider going back to the gym.

Here you can see how they’re already speaking to possible questions or objections they might have from customers before they even visit their page.

#2: Stimulate an Emotional Response

Similar to keeping your customer’s objective in mind, if you want your ad to resonate with the reader, try appealing to their emotions. This may mean referencing something that might trigger a memory or feeling, or it may speak to an aspirational goal or desire. Triggering a negative response is also powerful, such as reminding them of something they dislike so that they’re encouraged to sign up for your product/service.

In this ad, Disney references the sentiments of “stay in the magic,” “discover the magic,” and even “rediscover the magic” throughout the ad to reiterate the feeling of wonder and amazement they hope visitors experience, or remember experiencing at some time, at their theme parks. This can be powerful for creating an emotional image or feeling when people see your ad which also helps it be more memorable for your readers since they’ve now visualized an experience, just from your copy.

#3: Highlight Keywords

We know this is the most basic of tips when it comes to crafting your ad copy, but it’s important to be said, nonetheless. You of course want to make sure you’re highlighting relevant keywords for your business and consistently referencing them in your ad copy.

As evidenced in the above example for a “food delivery” search query, both Caviar and Seamless referenced the keyword “delivery” 4-5 times within the ad to continually hone the point that they offer food delivery service. CookUnity, on the other hand, did not. If you’re a customer looking to order food delivery, which is more compelling?

#4: Answer Their Search Query

Another tip that helps you speak specifically to customers’ needs is directly answering or referencing a commonly asked question from your search queries in the ad. For example, if people are searching for how to build a website, your ad copy can reference this inquiry and answer it directly in the ad with copy like, “Build A Website in Minutes with Easy-to-Use Tools,” or something along those lines. You can even include content related to that query within the ad landing page.

#5: Shorter is Better

Our goal as marketers is to always say more with less, and this especially applies when you only have so many characters you can use in a search ad. When reviewing your copy, aim to be as concise as possible and eliminate filler words that don’t add anything to your ad or clutter the end-user’s ability to read it with empty sentiments.

Take, for example, this ad from Monday.com, which is super clean and straightforward and uses minimal, yet powerful language like “Shape your workflow in minutes.” Compared to other ads on the page that are more densely packed, the words and meaning are less likely to get buried with this approach.

#6: Use Your Voice

Your ad copy is an extension of your brand experience, so it should fall within your unique voice and brand identity. If your brand is a little offbeat or playful, your ads should express that, like this example from Imperfect Foods.

The reference to “ugly foods” not only stands out, but also is in line with the company’s brand presence online which is more playful and fun.

Combine these tips with a compelling call to action (like a 20% off discount) and you are on your way to making your copy irresistible to customers.

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